Steering into the Future with More Wi-Fi by Sharing the Upper 5 GHz Band

Coverage Type: press release
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

Earlier in 2015, we joined together to write about making more space for Wi-Fi by exploring sharing opportunities in the 5850-5925 MHz band, or 5.9 GHz band. More unlicensed airwaves in this band could lead to lots of good things -- more wireless hotspots, less network congestion, greater speeds, and faster innovation. So we are pleased to see that our vision for this spectrum is now a lot closer to reality thanks to the efforts of Congress and a broad group of stakeholders with interest in these airwaves.

Thanks to leadership from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Sens Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), the Federal Communications Commission now has a framework for testing in the 5.9 GHz band that will help ensure that unlicensed sharing does not cause harmful interference to incumbents, including Dedicated Short Range Communications Service. This framework includes nine principles that a broad group of stakeholders -- automakers, unlicensed spectrum advocates, and technology companies -- have come together to support. It also includes specific testing duties for the FCC regarding interference-avoidance and allocation of spectrum use in the 5.9 GHz band. This progress is exciting. But we are also impatient, and a lot of work lies ahead. So we will press the FCC to start a proceeding to set testing parameters, evaluate results, and seek public comment on what we learn from our tests.


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